2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 47 - RETIREMENT AND PENSIONS
CHAPTER 20 - PUBLIC RETIREMENT SYSTEMS STANDARDS
ARTICLE 7 - PUBLIC RETIREMENT SYSTEMS INVESTMENT AUTHORITY LAW
§ 47-20-83.1 - (Repealed effective July 1, 2015) Definitions; identification of scrutinized companies where public funds held; Scrutinized Companies with Activities in the Iran Petroleum Energy Sector List; reporting

O.C.G.A. 47-20-83.1 (2010)
47-20-83.1. (Repealed effective July 1, 2015) Definitions; identification of scrutinized companies where public funds held; Scrutinized Companies with Activities in the Iran Petroleum Energy Sector List; reporting


(a) As used in this Code section, the term:

(1) "Company" means any sole proprietorship, organization, association, corporation, partnership, joint venture, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, limited liability company, or other entity or business association that exists for the purpose of making profit.

(2) "Direct holdings" in a company means all securities of that company that are held directly by the public fund or in an account or fund in which the public fund owns all shares or interests.

(3) "Government of Iran" means the government of Iran, its instrumentalities, and companies owned or controlled by the government of Iran.

(4) "Inactive business activities" means the mere continued holding or renewal of rights to property previously operated for the purpose of generating revenues but not presently deployed for such purpose.

(5) "Indirect holdings" in a company means all securities of that company that are held in an account or fund, such as a mutual fund, managed by one or more persons not employed by the public fund, in which the public fund owns shares or interests together with other investors not subject to the provisions of this Code section.

(6) "Iran" means the Islamic Republic of Iran.

(7) "Petroleum resources" means petroleum or natural gas.

(8) "Public fund" means a large retirement system as defined in Code Section 47-20-84.

(9) "Scrutinized business activities" means business activities that have resulted in a company becoming a scrutinized company.

(10) "Scrutinized company" means any company that has, with actual knowledge, on or after August 5, 1996, made an investment of $20 million or more in Iran's petroleum sector which directly or significantly contributes to the enhancement of Iran's ability to develop the petroleum resources of Iran.

(11) "Substantial action specific to Iran" means adopting, publicizing, and implementing a formal plan to cease scrutinized business activities within one year and to refrain from any such new business activities.

(b) On or before October 1, 2008, each public fund shall make its best efforts to identify all scrutinized companies in which the public fund has direct or indirect holdings. Such efforts include reviewing and relying, as appropriate in the public fund's judgment, on publicly available information regarding companies that have invested more than $20 million in any given year since August 5, 1996, in Iran's petroleum energy sector, including information provided by nonprofit organizations, research firms, international organizations, and government entities.

(c) By the first meeting of each board responsible for the management of a public fund after October 1, 2008, the board shall assemble all scrutinized companies that fit the criteria specified in paragraph (10) of subsection (a) of this Code section into a "Scrutinized Companies with Activities in the Iran Petroleum Energy Sector List."

(d) The board of each public fund shall update and make publicly available annually the Scrutinized Companies with Activities in the Iran Petroleum Energy Sector List based on evolving information from, among other sources, those listed in subsection (b) of this Code section.

(e) Each public fund shall adhere to the following procedure for assembling companies on the Scrutinized Companies with Activities in the Iran Petroleum Energy Sector List:

(1) For each company in which the public fund has direct holdings newly identified under subsection (c) of this Code section, the public fund shall send a written notice informing the company of its scrutinized company status and that it may become subject to divestment by the public fund. The notice must inform the company of the opportunity to clarify its Iran related activities and encourage the company, within 90 days, to cease its scrutinized business activities or convert such activities to inactive business activities in order to avoid qualifying for divestment by the public fund. Such notice shall be sent no later than December 15, 2008; and

(2) If, within 90 days after the public fund's first engagement with a company pursuant to this subsection, that company announces by public disclosure substantial action specific to Iran, the public fund may maintain its direct holdings, but the company shall remain on the Scrutinized Companies with Activities in Iran Petroleum Energy Sector List pending completion of its cessation of scrutinized business activities.

(f) (1) If, after 90 days following a public fund's first engagement with a company pursuant to subsection (e) of this Code section, the company has not announced by public disclosure substantial action specific to Iran, or the public fund determines or becomes aware that the company continues to have scrutinized business activities, the public fund within eight months after the expiration of such 90 day period shall sell, redeem, divest, or withdraw all publicly traded securities of the company from the public fund's direct holdings.

(2) If the public fund determines or becomes aware that a company that ceased scrutinized business activities following engagement pursuant to subsection (e) of this Code section has resumed such activities, the public fund shall send a written notice to the company in accordance with subsection (e) and this subsection. The company shall also be immediately reintroduced onto the Scrutinized Companies with Activities in Iran Petroleum Energy Sector List.

(3) The public fund shall monitor the scrutinized company that has announced by public disclosure substantial action specific to Iran and, if, after one year, the public fund determines or becomes aware that the company has not implemented such a plan, within three months after the expiration of such one-year period shall sell, redeem, divest, or withdraw all publicly traded securities of the company from the public fund's direct holdings, and the company also shall be immediately reintroduced onto the Scrutinized Companies with Activities in Iran Petroleum Energy Sector List.

(g) A public fund shall not acquire securities of companies on the Scrutinized Companies with Activities in Iran Petroleum Energy Sector List.

(h) Subsections (f) and (g) of this Code section shall not apply to a public fund's indirect holdings. However, the public fund shall submit letters to the managers of such investment funds containing companies on the Scrutinized Companies with Activities in Iran Petroleum Energy Sector List requesting that they consider removing such companies from the fund or create a similar actively managed fund having indirect holdings devoid of such companies. If the manager creates a similar fund devoid of such securities or if such funds are created elsewhere, the board of the public fund shall determine within six months whether to replace all applicable investments with investments in the similar fund in an expedited time frame consistent with prudent investing standards. For the purposes of this subsection, a private equity fund is deemed to be an actively managed investment fund.

(i) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Code section, the public fund, when discharging its responsibility for operation of a defined contribution plan, shall engage the manager of the investment offerings in such plans requesting that they consider removing scrutinized companies from the investment offerings or create an alternative investment offering devoid of scrutinized companies. If the manager creates an alternative investment offering or if such funds are created elsewhere and is deemed by the public fund to be consistent with prudent investor standards, the public fund shall, within six months, consider including such investment offering in the plan.

(j) Each public fund shall file a report with the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives that includes the Scrutinized Companies with Activities in Iran Petroleum Energy Sector List within 30 days after the list is created. This report shall be made available to the public. Annually thereafter the board responsible for the management of a public fund shall file a report, which shall be made available to the public and to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, which includes:

(1) A summary of correspondence with companies engaged by the public fund under this Code section;

(2) All investments sold, redeemed, divested, or withdrawn in compliance with this Code section;

(3) All prohibited investments under this Code section;

(4) Any progress made under subsection (h) of this Code section; and

(5) A list of all publicly traded securities held directly by the public fund.

(k) If any of the following occur, this Code section shall be of no further force or effect:

(1) The Congress or President of the United States affirmatively and unambiguously states, by means including, but not limited to, legislation, executive order, or written certification from the President to Congress, that the government of Iran has ceased to pursue the capabilities to develop nuclear weapons and support international terrorism;

(2) The United States revokes all sanctions imposed against the government of Iran; or

(3) The Congress or President of the United States affirmatively and unambiguously declares, by means including, but not limited to, legislation, executive order, or written certification from the President to Congress, that mandatory divestment of the type provided for in this Code section interferes with the conduct of United States foreign policy.

(l) With respect to actions taken in compliance with this Code section, including all good faith determinations regarding companies as required by this Code section, the public fund shall be exempt from any conflicting statutory or common law obligations, including any such obligations with respect to choice of asset managers, investment funds, or investments for the public fund's securities portfolios.

(m) Neither the retirement system nor any employee of the retirement system shall be liable for a good faith omission in identifying a scrutinized company.

(n) The state treasurer shall annually prepare a list of scrutinized companies as otherwise required by this Code section. The list shall be made available to each public fund in Georgia and each such fund may rely on said list in meeting the requirements of this Code section.

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